May 19, 2020

Best American cities to live and work in

Bizclik Editor
4 min
Best American cities to live and work in

Whether you’re looking to live in the suburbs with your family, live just a five-minute taxi ride away from the downtown hustle and bustle, or live with an ocean breeze in your backyard while soaking in 350 days of sunshine, here are the best neighborhoods not only to live in, but also to work in.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota has an unemployment rate of only 5.1 percent, as of the end of 2010, and is home not only to 64,000 residents, but also to some big players in the employment field. Not only do the Minnesota Vikings call Eden Prairie their home to their practice facility and home office, but other Fortune 500 companies like C.H. Robinson and Starkey Labs also take residence here. The city is also ideal to those outdoorsy adventurers with 125 miles of trails for running, hiking and biking. But if you need your dose of nightlife and excitement, downtown Minneapolis is only 12 miles away.

Ellicott City, Maryland has an unemployment rate of only 5.2 percent and is a favorite among those who are into 18th century architecture and an exciting foodie and music atmosphere. Baltimore and Washington D.C. are no more than an hour away and the National Security Agency and Fort Meade Army base continue to attract employees to live and work in the area. Ellicott City is also known for being one of America’s most affluent vicinities and is located in Howard County, the third wealthiest county in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. And to all of you baseball historians, Babe Ruth married Helen Woodford at St. Paul’s Church in Ellicott City in 1914.

Austin, Texas has an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, but is favored among professionals who are in the small business community. Some say the area is brimful of young professionals and hippies trying to make a name for themselves, but somehow, entrepreneurs are working together to support each other and their businesses. Austin is also home to the massively popular South by Southwest festival, where musicians, artists, film makers and emerging tech geeks migrate to for a sort of Woodstock meets Consumer Electronics Show meets Sundance. The University of Texas at Austin is also the breeding ground for those interested in taking over the engineering and computer science industries and the city is also home to offices of Dell, 3M, Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Google, Cisco Systems, eBay/PayPal, Whole Foods and much more. It’s not just the “weird” that are taking up shop in Austin.

Newton, Massachusetts has an unemployment rate of 6 percent and is less than 45 minutes from downtown Boston. Newton doesn’t have a single city epicenter but boasts a conglomerate of 13 “villages,” with many of them having their own downtown area. Last year’s study by ranked Newton as the second wealthiest urban area in the U.S. and the FBI ranked the city the nation’s safest city in 1999, 2004 and 2005. Newton has also made its mark in American culture by providing Heartbreak Hill for the Boston Marathon, the bed and breakfast location for the movie “Borat,” as well as working with Nabisco to assist in naming the Fig Newton after the city.

Bellevue, Washington has an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent and is the perfect place for those who enjoy their downtown city skyline with a bit of mountain views and lush greenery. Some say Bellevue has more jobs than it does residents and that might be true – especially since Microsoft, T-Mobile, Expedia and Verizon Wireless moved offices into the city.

Washington, D.C. has an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent and is booming in the education, healthcare, science and finance industries. George Washington University, Georgetown University, Washington Hospital Center, Howard University and Fannie Mae are the top five non-governmental employers in the city and there are a handful of Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies taking up residence in the area. D.C. also has the third largest downtown in the U.S. when it comes to office space and falls right behind New York City and Chicago.

Boulder, Colorado has an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent and creates a mixture of the wealthy and the smarties amidst scenic views of the Rocky Mountains, abundant greenery, and brick and mortar businesses. Major employers in and near Boulder include the University of Colorado, IBM, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Covidien, Lockheed Martin, and many more. Outdoor sports, film festivals, liberal antics and the world-renowned New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge have helped the city make its mark.

Huntsville, Alabama has an unemployment rate of 8 percent is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, giving the city the nickname, “The Rocket City.” The city’s main economic influence has roots in the aerospace and military technology and the University of Alabama in Huntsville molds the best in the technology and engineering research area. Several commercial technology companies call Huntsville home, such as ADTRAN and Deltacom, Inc., along with more than 40 Fortune 500 companies.


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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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